Health IT heals workflow gaps
Introducing new ways to improve efficiency and increase interoperability are top goals for health information technology vendors at RSNA 2006. Products that incorporate more features and tools than ever into one system will share the health IT limelight. From surgical planning tools to virtual worklists and pre-fetch solutions to software that allows users more functionality from one workstation than ever, health IT vendors are poised to streamline users’ workflow.

Advantech (Booth #3185) is demonstrating its upgraded POC Slim Series Panel computers to assist medical personnel care for patients. The 15-inch POC-S155 and 17-inch POC-S175 now feature a choice of processors up to Pentium M 1.4 GHz for more responsive applications that save time. Upgraded models have an optional built-in uninterruptible power supply that provides 30 minutes of operational power for safer data storage and graceful shutdown of applications.

Amirsys (Booth #1017) is adding an Imaging Anatomy Module to STATdx. STATdx, the first point-of-care, clinical decision support system for imaging, is designed to support the busy radiologist by increasing speed, accuracy, and diagnostic confidence in complex cases. STATdx Imaging Anatomy allows radiologists, while researching differential diagnoses, to access seamlessly all relevant imaging anatomy and to determine the critical anatomic context of a specific diagnosis. STATdx streamlines workflow by reducing the time required to research and complete a difficult imaging analysis. Its digital format sets it apart from a textbook and ensures that radiologists can have access to on-demand reference tools wherever and whenever needed.

aycan Medical Systems (Booth #8110) is highlighting the aycan workstation OsiriX, a cost-effective certified image processing software dedicated to DICOM images for navigation and visualization of multislice/multidimensional studies. aycan also is showcasing its aycan xray-print solution featuring a wider array of output solutions. aycan xray-print is a cost-saving DICOM paper print solution that provides an inexpensive way to communicate with referring physicians and patients.

Cedara C4Cedara Software (Booth #4716) is showcasing a variety of new technologies for OEM/VARs designed to unite image and information management in the healthcare industry. One such product is C4 (Cedara Clinical Control Center), a platform that allows clinical applications and plug-ins to be tightly integrated into a single workstation, sharing system resources. While C4 can be used to integrate clinical applications into any information system quickly, Cedara is demonstrating it along with its web PACS solution, Cedara I-Reach, showcasing a variety of clinical applications including Cedara OrthoWorks Pro-Planner, Cedara OrthoWorks Spine Analyzer, Cedara I-Response, Cedara PET/CT Workstation, IlumiView, and CalScore.

Cedara is introducing aXigate to help integrate radiology information into general healthcare workflow. aXigate is a leading-edge IT platform for OEM/VARs. Its web-based back-office architecture allows a single point of access to comprehensive clinical and diagnostic information. Using a customizable portal interface, radiology practices and imaging centers can combine diagnostic images and reports with other patient information to deliver complete diagnostic information to a broad audience. aXigate is part of Cedara’s OpenContent suite of integration tools.

For organizations interested in developing imaging applications, the Cedara OpenEyes development platform will help engineers quickly develop new solutions in an efficient and cost-effective manner. This platform includes all of the essential imaging functionality for easy integration of third-party applications and high-level viewing solutions.

Compressus (Booth #5340) is showcasing its Enterprise Systems Integration software solutions. MEDxConnect technology provides seamless connectivity and interoperability between diagnostic acquisition devices, PACS, HIS, RIS, and their related information systems. Key components of the MEDxConnect Enterprise Integration solution include the Medical Message Mediator (M3), the Virtual Worklist, and the Systems Management Dashboard.

Supporting HL7, DICOM, and other standard messages, the M3 uses the communications protocols and semantics of each participating information system to control the flow of images, reports, messages, standard patient demographics, and other important data for diagnosis and treatment planning of a patient between otherwise independent and disparate systems.

Virtual Worklist is a software product that runs on the M3 server and leverages the M3 capabilities. Virtual Worklist and M3 enable users to build a complete and flexible system to manage the diagnostic and reporting radiological services efficiently throughout the enterprise.

DeJarnette Research Systems (Booth #2315) is spotlighting version 2.0 software of its Intelligent Router. In recent months, the major digital mammography vendors have discovered Intelligent Router as a solution for their customer’s pre-fetch needs on their mammography reading workstations. The 2.0 software is currently in advanced beta testing at a large number of facilities. The official product release is expected in December. The 2.0 software version includes features such as multiple routing rules for each source, support for complex study/series/order filters in query routing, and multiple pre-fetch rules per DICOM modality worklist provider and per DICOM query/retrieve provider.

The company is releasing an upgrade for its PACSware Migration Toolkit at the end of the year. Based on customer requests for support for the migration of legacy Canon PACS, version 2.1 of the toolkit now supports these Canon PACS migrations and includes separate GUI for scheduling, separate pre-fetch and background migration schedules, wider support for DICOM objects and improved capture of DICOM errors, and improved logging. DeJarnette also is unveiling xDL, its cross-enterprise document librarian that meets growing demand for inexpensive, robust, and reliable offsite storage of PACS data. xDL is a software layer that can be placed on top of any offsite storage vendor’s service offering.

MEDITECH (Booth #6448) is highlighting its soon-to-be-available Imaging and Therapeutic Services 5.6 Release, featuring role-based desktops. These user-centric desktops provide radiologists, technologists, and transcriptionists with extensive functionality from a single portal, designed to fit their specific needs.

NeoTool (Booth #8462) is releasing its latest healthcare integration engine, which enhances patient data exchanges with improved XML support. Specifically, the added XML support encompasses the Continuity of Care (CCR) data standards, enabling more robust patient data exchanges between EMR, RIS, and PACS. With the combination of CCR and HL7 data, radiologists and physicians can receive more patient information that can aid their interpretations. NeoTool’s healthcare integration engine broadens the amount of patient information that can be communicated, reducing duplicate work and delivering complete information efficiently.

Pegasus Imaging (Booth #2304) is highlighting its JPEG 2000 Transcoder for the PICTools MedX Software Development Kit. This JPEG 2000 technology allows many operations to be performed without decompressing and recompressing images, thus eliminating generational loss. The Transcoder is a low-level C library that allows developers to build applications that convert JPEG 2000 images from one layout to another. Because the Transcoder does not decode and then re-encode images, no generational loss is introduced by the process. The JPEG 2000 Transcoder can change the number of layers; adjust image file size, compression rate, and overall quality; convert from lossless to lossy compression; re-encode for efficient JPIP transmission; and extract encoded thumbnails from images. These features can be particularly useful for back-end medical image servers.

Siemens Medical Systems (Booth #4114) is showing its REMIND (Reliable Extraction and Meaningful Inference from Nonstructured Data) platform that includes data extraction (e.g., natural language processing or proteomic analysis), data combination, and probabilistic inference. REMIND searches through all patient records, analyzing information in unstructured and structured form.

REMIND Clinical Decision Support (CDS) is a works-in-progress application under development in collaboration with MAASTRO (Maastricht Radiation Oncology), a leading radiation oncology treatment center in the Netherlands. REMIND CDS helps physicians personalize therapy plans by predicting therapy outcomes and side effects in lung cancer patients undergoing therapy. REMIND CDS can leverage all available electronic information in the patient record.